Alumni Blog

The Art of Aviation: Julie Thiele's Journey to Alaska Airlines

Posted by Matthew Bila on

The path of life winds around, twisting and turning until we eventually find ourselves heading in the correct direction. While we often begin heading one way, we soon find ourselves detoured towards another destination. Slowly, but surely the navigation begins to make sense and our end point comes into focus. For many in the aviation industry, the pathway into the field became crystal clear soon after their first aviation experience. For Julie Thiele, the allure of aviation was like a fine wine. It took time.

Brad Coffman: From Private to Professional Pilot in Four Years

Posted by Matthew Bila on

For many children, the dream of aviation begins the first time they fly or their initial encounter with an airplane. The wonderment produced by being in the presence of these magnificent pieces of machinery has a profound effect on many young individuals. For some, the introduction to aviation is a passive encounter. For others, the world of the pilot is an active, engaging experience. Brad Coffman grew up in the latter.

From Aviation Camp to Aviation Captain

Posted by Matthew Bila on

Battle Creek, Mich is many things. For some, it is the fictional home of a recently cancelled television show. For others, it is none other than Cereal City, USA. However for Richard Bartlett, Battle Creek, Mich was aviation mecca. It was the city that offered him the access to the key that would unlock the world for him.

Bronson Barth Keeps his Eyes on the Sky in Louisville

Posted by Matthew Bila on
Kentucky is famous for its bourbon distilleries, bluegrass music, a certain Colonel who made chicken “finger licking good,” and horse racing. In the state are the city of Louisville and the Louisville International Airport, which was chosen in 2005 as the UPS heavy airfreight hub and a 235-foot air traffic control tower. Climbing the 22 stories on a regular basis is Bronson Barth, Western Michigan University alumni, Air Traffic Controller and aviation enthusiast.

Aviation Articulation: The Birth of the Junior Flight Team Program

Posted by Matthew Bila on
Competition has a way of motivating people. From Pop Warner football to the National Spelling Bee, the thrill of going head to head against a peer has always roused individuals to be their best. In collegiate aviation, the National Intercollegiate Flying Association has had the same impact in the aviation industry. The competitive nature of the NIFA SAFECON events has elevated aviation professionals for nearly 100 years.

The Lechota Legacy - Tom and Tim Take Off with Aviation

Posted by Matthew Bila on

People often asked Hank Williams Jr. why he did certain things -- a lot of them bad. In song and verse, Hank provided one of his trademarked replies, saying he was simply carrying on the “family tradition.”

Marcus Williams: From Seattle to Supersonic (Almost!)

Posted by Matthew Bila on
Growing up in the northwest section of the United States, several things are hard to ignore: the Seattle Seahawks, Starbucks Coffee, Microsoft, the birthplace of Grunge and Boeing. For Marcus Williams the influence of the aerospace giant would have a profound effect on his upbringing, leading him to the place he is today.

State of the WMU College of Aviation - 2015

Posted by Matthew Bila on

Happy New Year, although a bit late, to our aviation family and friends. I’ve got some really exciting updates to share with you and welcome any feedback or conversations you might like to have.

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